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Dossier reveals hate-filled rants by preachers in Britain’s mosques

A speaker at Tawhid Mosque in Leyton, east London, appeared to deny that Hamas massacred Israelis in the desert
A speaker at Tawhid Mosque in Leyton, east London, appeared to deny that Hamas massacred Israelis in the desert

The Charity Commission is examining a fresh series of concerns about “utterly repugnant” sermons in British mosques, The Telegraph has learned.

The sermons were given in the weeks and months following Hamas’ invasion of southern Israel on October 7, 2023.

It comes after the Prime Minister warned about a “shocking increase” in extremism as he urged the public to “face down the extremists who would tear us apart”.

In one instance at Tawhid Mosque in Leyton, east London, Sheikh Suhaib Hasan appeared to claim that the victims of the massacre at the Supernova desert rave in Israel were “killed by their own people”.

Elsewhere in his sermon, he seems to acknowledge that Hamas – whom he refers to as the ‘believers’ – carried out the killing spree but suggests that the ravers deserved to be murdered.

Dr Suhaib Hasan appeared to claim that the Israelis were "killed by their own people"
Dr Suhaib Hasan appeared to claim that the Israelis were "killed by their own people"

He describes how people at the festival were “enjoying music and dancing” and goes on to say: “So after that revelation, no one could blame the believers that they have started it”.

He goes on to declare that “victory is promised to the believers” and calls Israel the “forces of evil”. The sermon was delivered in late November but is still available to watch online.

The complaint to the Charity Commission was based on information contained in a dossier, which has been circulating among the counter-extremism community in recent weeks.

The report lists some 21 examples of hate preachers at mosques around the country.

One Manchester mosque’s sermon at the end of Friday prayers called for Al-Aqsa mosque to be freed from the “dirty, usurping and aggressing Zionists” while an online sermon praised Hamas for their “moral victory” over Israel. A third religious leader in Southall scolds Muslims who have not “prepared” for jihad and another in Bradford calls for “victory” to the “mujahideen” of Palestine.

Last November, the charity regulator pledged to crack down on bodies that host anti-Semitic extremists amid “serious concerns” about activities linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

A source familiar with the contents of the dossier said: “Within the counter-extremism community, the Charity Commission is seen as the weak link. If they are constrained by regulation or by low funding, why haven’t they made some noise about it?

“We see these things happening again and again. Some of this stuff goes back decades. When are they going to raise their game? Most people should agree there should be some very solid red lines somewhere.”

At another sermon given at the Abdullah Quilliam Society in Liverpool in late October, Sheikh Haroon Hanif told congregants that Jews and Christians “will never be happy with you until you abandon Islam”.

In the same sermon, which is also promoted online, he said Halloween festivities are “Satanic” and warned that Muslim children “must stay away” from them.

Western culture

He also railed against western culture, saying: “The prophet of Islam said the lowest of the low will be those who guide people in the End Days. Footballers, sports stars, musicians, singers, politicians: the lowest of the low, the most wretched of all people. And what are we doing? We see them as stars to guide us.”

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said some of the sermons it has reviewed and reported to the Charity Commission are “utterly repugnant” and use language which is “totally unacceptable”.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Religious leaders should be trying to ease communal tensions right now, not inflame them, yet we are seeing rhetoric like this far too often.

“There must be no place for religious extremism in Britain, and that principle is even more urgent at a time of sky-rocketing anti-Semitic hate crime and danger to the Jewish community.”

The spokesman added: “Any perception of inaction against someone preaching hatred from a pulpit creates the conditions in which not only Britain’s Jews but all Brits could be placed in serious danger. The idea that anyone with such views might come anywhere near a regulated charity is obviously unacceptable, and the Charity Commission must be very clear about that.”

Charitable

Tawhid Mosque is run by the Masjid and Madrasah Al-Tawhid Trust which states that its charitable objectives are to “advance the Islamic faith” in Waltham Forest and the surrounding area.

The Abdullah Quilliam Society is also a charity, whose stated purpose is “to promote correct knowledge and understanding of Islam and its true spirit faith for the benefit of all”.

A spokesperson for the Charity Commission said: “We have been made aware today of potential concerns about the Abdullah Quilliam Society, Liverpool and Masjid and Madrasah Al-Tawhid Trust, London, and are assessing information to inform whether or not this is a matter for the Commission.” Tawhid Mosque and the Abdullah Quilliam Society declined to comment.